Contents 1 History 1.1 Pre-independent Belgium 1.2 Independent Belgium 2 Geography 2.1 Provinces 3 Politics 3.1 Political culture 3.2 Communities and regions 3.3 Locus of policy jurisdiction 3.4 Foreign relations 3.5 Armed forces 4 Economy 4.1 Science and technology 5 Demographics 5.1 Migration 5.2 Functional urban areas[137] 5.3 Languages 5.4 Religion 5.5 Health 5.6 Education 6 Culture 6.1 Fine arts 6.2 Folklore 6.3 Cuisine 6.4 Sports 7 See also 8 Footnotes 9 References 10 External links


History Main article: History of Belgium Pre-independent Belgium Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. (...) Of all these, the Belgae are the strongest (...) . “ ” — Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, Book I, Ch. 1 The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples.[26][C] A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire.[27] The Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor.[27] Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries.[28] Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.[29] The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces (Belgica Foederata in Latin, the "Federated Netherlands") and the Southern Netherlands (Belgica Regia, the "Royal Netherlands"). The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish (Spanish Netherlands) and the Austrian Habsburgs (Austrian Netherlands) and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon. Independent Belgium Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830 (1834), by Gustaf Wappers In 1830, the Belgian Revolution led to the separation of the Southern Provinces from the Netherlands and to the establishment of a Catholic and bourgeois, officially French-speaking and neutral, independent Belgium under a provisional government and a national congress.[30][31] Since the installation of Leopold I as king on 21 July 1831, now celebrated as Belgium's National Day, Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a laicist constitution based on the Napoleonic code.[32] Although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 (with plural voting until 1919) and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party and the Liberal Party, with the Belgian Labour Party emerging towards the end of the 19th century. French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie. It progressively lost its overall importance as Dutch became recognized as well. This recognition became official in 1898 and in 1967 the parliament accepted a Dutch version of the Constitution.[33] The Berlin Conference of 1885 ceded control of the Congo Free State to King Leopold II as his private possession. From around 1900 there was growing international concern for the extreme and savage treatment of the Congolese population under Leopold II, for whom the Congo was primarily a source of revenue from ivory and rubber production.[34] Many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber.[35] It is estimated that nearly 10 million were killed during the Leopold period. In 1908, this outcry led the Belgian state to assume responsibility for the government of the colony, henceforth called the Belgian Congo.[36] A Belgian commission in 1919 estimated that Congo's population was half what it was in 1879.[35] Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914 as part of the Schlieffen Plan to attack France, and much of the Western Front fighting of World War I occurred in western parts of the country. The opening months of the war were known as the Rape of Belgium due to German excesses. Belgium assumed control of the German colonies of Ruanda-Urundi (modern-day Rwanda and Burundi) during the war, and in 1924 the League of Nations mandated them to Belgium. In the aftermath of the First World War, Belgium annexed the Prussian districts of Eupen and Malmedy in 1925, thereby causing the presence of a German-speaking minority. Cheering crowds greet British troops entering Brussels, 4 September 1944 German forces again invaded the country in May 1940, and 40,690 Belgians, over half of them Jews, were killed during the subsequent occupation and The Holocaust. From September 1944 to February 1945 the Allies liberated Belgium. After World War II, a general strike forced King Leopold III to abdicate in 1951, since many Belgians felt he had collaborated with Germany during the war.[37] The Belgian Congo gained independence in 1960 during the Congo Crisis;[38] Ruanda-Urundi followed with its independence two years later. Belgium joined NATO as a founding member and formed the Benelux group of nations with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Belgium became one of the six founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 and of the European Atomic Energy Community and European Economic Community, established in 1957. The latter has now become the European Union, for which Belgium hosts major administrations and institutions, including the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the extraordinary and committee sessions of the European Parliament.


Geography Main article: Geography of Belgium A relief map of Belgium Belgium shares borders with France (620 km), Germany (167 km), Luxembourg (148 km) and the Netherlands (450 km). Its total surface, including water area, is 30,528 square kilometres from which land area alone 30,278 km2.[39] It lies between latitudes 49°30 and 51°30 N, and longitudes 2°33 and 6°24 E.[40] Belgium has three main geographical regions; the coastal plain in the northwest and the central plateau both belong to the Anglo-Belgian Basin, and the Ardennes uplands in the southeast to the Hercynian orogenic belt. The Paris Basin reaches a small fourth area at Belgium's southernmost tip, Belgian Lorraine.[41] The coastal plain consists mainly of sand dunes and polders. Further inland lies a smooth, slowly rising landscape irrigated by numerous waterways, with fertile valleys and the northeastern sandy plain of the Campine (Kempen). The thickly forested hills and plateaux of the Ardennes are more rugged and rocky with caves and small gorges. Extending westward into France, this area is eastwardly connected to the Eifel in Germany by the High Fens plateau, on which the Signal de Botrange forms the country's highest point at 694 metres (2,277 ft).[42][43] The climate is maritime temperate with significant precipitation in all seasons (Köppen climate classification: Cfb), like most of northwest Europe.[44] The average temperature is lowest in January at 3 °C (37.4 °F) and highest in July at 18 °C (64.4 °F). The average precipitation per month varies between 54 millimetres (2.1 in) for February and April, to 78 mm (3.1 in) for July.[45] Averages for the years 2000 to 2006 show daily temperature minimums of 7 °C (44.6 °F) and maximums of 14 °C (57.2 °F) and monthly rainfall of 74 mm (2.9 in); these are about 1 °C and nearly 10 millimetres above last century's normal values, respectively.[46] Phytogeographically, Belgium is shared between the Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom.[47] According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Belgium belongs to the ecoregion of Atlantic mixed forests.[48] Because of its high population density, industrialization and its location in the centre of Western Europe, Belgium still faces some environmental problems. However, due to consistent efforts by the various levels of government in Belgium, the state of the environment in Belgium is gradually improving. This led to Belgium being ranked as one of the top 10 countries (9 out of 132) in terms of environmental protection trends, and to Belgium being ranked in 2012 as the 24th country out of 132 for environmental protection. Belgium moreover has one of Europe's highest waste recycling rates. In particular, the Flemish region of Belgium has the highest waste diversion rate in Europe. Almost 75 percent of the residential waste produced there is reused, recycled, or composted. Polders along the Yser river Campine landscape The Meuse river between Dinant and Hastière High Fens landscape near the German border Provinces  Antwerp  East Flanders  Flemish        Brabant   Hainaut  Liège   Limburg   Luxembourg   Namur  Walloon Brabant  West Flanders    Flanders    Wallonia    Brussels Main article: Provinces of Belgium The territory of Belgium is divided into three Regions, two of which, the Flemish Region and Walloon Region, are in turn subdivided into provinces; the third Region, the Brussels Capital Region, is neither a province nor a part of a province. Province Dutch name French name German name Capital Largest city Area (km2) Population (1 January 2016) Antwerp Antwerpen Anvers Antwerpen Antwerp (Dutch: Antwerpen) (French: Anvers) Antwerp (Dutch: Antwerpen) (French: Anvers) 2,860 1,824,136 East Flanders Oost-Vlaanderen Flandre-Orientale Ostflandern Ghent (Dutch: Gent) (French: Gand) Ghent (Dutch: Gent) (French: Gand) 2,982 1,486,722 Flemish Brabant Vlaams-Brabant Brabant flamand Flämisch Brabant Leuven (French: Louvain) (German: Löwen) Leuven (French: Louvain) 2,106 1,121,693 Hainaut Henegouwen Hainaut Hennegau Mons (Dutch: Bergen) Charleroi 3,800 1,337,157 Liège Luik Liège Lüttich Liège (Dutch: Luik) (German: Lüttich) Liège (Dutch: Luik) (German: Lüttich) 3,844 1,098,688 Limburg Limburg Limbourg Limburg Hasselt Hasselt 2,414 863,425 Luxembourg Luxemburg Luxembourg Luxemburg Arlon (Dutch: Aarlen) (German: Arel) Arlon (Dutch: Aarlen) (German: Arel) 4,443 280,327 Namur Namen Namur Namur Namur (Dutch: Namen) Namur (Dutch: Namen) 3,664 489,204 Walloon Brabant Waals-Brabant Brabant wallon Wallonisch Brabant Wavre (Dutch: Waver) Braine-l'Alleud (Dutch: Eigenbrakel) 1,093 396,840 West Flanders West-Vlaanderen Flandre-Occidentale Westflandern Bruges (Dutch: Brugge) (French: Bruges) (German: Brügge) Bruges (Dutch: Brugge) (French: Bruges) (German: Brügge) 3,151 1,181,828


Politics Main articles: Politics of Belgium and Belgian federal government Philippe King of the Belgians since 2013 Charles Michel Prime Minister since 2014 Belgium is a constitutional, popular monarchy and a federal parliamentary democracy. The bicameral federal parliament is composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Representatives. The former is made up of 50 senators appointed by the parliaments of the communities and regions and 10 co-opted senators. Prior to 2014, most of the Senate's members were directly elected. The Chamber's 150 representatives are elected under a proportional voting system from 11 electoral districts. Belgium has compulsory voting and thus maintains one of the highest rates of voter turnout in the world.[49] The King (currently Philippe) is the head of state, though with limited prerogatives. He appoints ministers, including a Prime Minister, that have the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives to form the federal government. The Council of Ministers is composed of no more than fifteen members. With the possible exception of the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers is composed of an equal number of Dutch-speaking members and French-speaking members.[50] The judicial system is based on civil law and originates from the Napoleonic code. The Court of Cassation is the court of last resort, with the Court of Appeal one level below.[51] Political culture Belgium's political institutions are complex; most political power is organized around the need to represent the main cultural communities.[52] Since about 1970, the significant national Belgian political parties have split into distinct components that mainly represent the political and linguistic interests of these communities.[53] The major parties in each community, though close to the political centre, belong to three main groups: Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Social Democrats.[54] Further notable parties came into being well after the middle of last century, mainly around linguistic, nationalist, or environmental themes and recently smaller ones of some specific liberal nature.[53] The Belgian Federal Parliament in Brussels, one of six different governments of the country A string of Christian Democrat coalition governments from 1958 was broken in 1999 after the first dioxin crisis, a major food contamination scandal.[55][56][57] A "rainbow coalition" emerged from six parties: the Flemish and the French-speaking Liberals, Social Democrats and Greens.[58] Later, a "purple coalition" of Liberals and Social Democrats formed after the Greens lost most of their seats in the 2003 election.[59] The government led by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt from 1999 to 2007 achieved a balanced budget, some tax reforms, a labour-market reform, scheduled nuclear phase-out and instigated legislation allowing more stringent war crime and more lenient soft drug usage prosecution. Restrictions on withholding euthanasia were reduced and same-sex marriage legalized. The government promoted active diplomacy in Africa[60] and opposed the invasion of Iraq.[61] It is the only country that does not have age restrictions on euthanasia.[62] Verhofstadt's coalition fared badly in the June 2007 elections. For more than a year, the country experienced a political crisis.[63] This crisis was such that many observers speculated on a possible partition of Belgium.[64][65][66] From 21 December 2007 until 20 March 2008 the temporary Verhofstadt III Government was in office. This coalition of the Flemish and Francophone Christian Democrats, the Flemish and Francophone Liberals together with the Francophone Social Democrats was an interim government until 20 March 2008.[67] On that day a new government, led by Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme, the actual winner of the federal elections of June 2007, was sworn in by the king. On 15 July 2008 Leterme announced the resignation of the cabinet to the king, as no progress in constitutional reforms had been made.[67] In December 2008 he once more offered his resignation to the king after a crisis surrounding the sale of Fortis to BNP Paribas.[68] At this juncture, his resignation was accepted and Christian Democratic and Flemish Herman Van Rompuy was sworn in as Prime Minister on 30 December 2008.[69] After Herman Van Rompuy was designated the first permanent President of the European Council on 19 November 2009, he offered the resignation of his government to King Albert II on 25 November 2009. A few hours later, the new government under Prime Minister Yves Leterme was sworn in. On 22 April 2010, Leterme again offered the resignation of his cabinet to the king[70] after one of the coalition partners, the OpenVLD, withdrew from the government, and on 26 April 2010 King Albert officially accepted the resignation.[71] The Parliamentary elections in Belgium on 13 June 2010 saw the Flemish nationalist N-VA become the largest party in Flanders, and the Socialist Party PS the largest party in Wallonia.[72] Until December 2011, Belgium was governed by Leterme's caretaker government awaiting the end of the deadlocked negotiations for formation of a new government. By 30 March 2011 this set a new world record for the elapsed time without an official government, previously held by war-torn Iraq.[73] Finally, in December 2011 the Di Rupo Government led by Walloon socialist Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in. The 2014 federal election (coinciding with the regional elections) resulted in a further electoral gain for the Flemish nationalist N-VA, although the incumbent coalition (composed of Flemish and French-speaking Social Democrats, Liberals, and Christian Democrats) maintains a solid majority in Parliament and in all electoral constituencies. On 22 July 2014, King Philippe nominated Charles Michel (MR) and Kris Peeters (CD&V) to lead the formation of a new federal cabinet composed of the Flemish parties N-VA, CD&V, Open Vld and the French-speaking MR, which resulted in the Michel Government. It is the first time N-VA is part of the federal cabinet, while the French-speaking side is represented only by the MR, which achieved a minority of the public votes in Wallonia. Communities and regions Main article: Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium Communities:   Flemish Community / Dutch language area   Flemish & French Community / bilingual language area   French Community / French language area   German-speaking Community / German language area Regions:   Flemish Region / Dutch language area   Brussels-Capital Region / bilingual area   Walloon Region / French and German language areas Following a usage which can be traced back to the Burgundian and Habsburg courts,[74] in the 19th century it was necessary to speak French to belong to the governing upper class, and those who could only speak Dutch were effectively second-class citizens.[75] Late that century, and continuing into the 20th century, Flemish movements evolved to counter this situation.[76] While the people in Southern Belgium spoke French or dialects of French, and most Brusselers adopted French as their first language, the Flemings refused to do so and succeeded progressively in making Dutch an equal language in the education system.[76] Following World War II, Belgian politics became increasingly dominated by the autonomy of its two main linguistic communities.[77] Intercommunal tensions rose and the constitution was amended to minimise the potential for conflict.[77] Based on the four language areas defined in 1962–63 (the Dutch, bilingual, French and German language areas), consecutive revisions of the country's constitution in 1970, 1980, 1988 and 1993 established a unique form of a federal state with segregated political power into three levels:[78][79] The federal government, based in Brussels. The three language communities: the Flemish Community (Dutch-speaking); the French Community (French-speaking); the German-speaking Community. The three regions: the Flemish Region, subdivided into five provinces; the Walloon Region, subdivided into five provinces; the Brussels-Capital Region. The constitutional language areas determine the official languages in their municipalities, as well as the geographical limits of the empowered institutions for specific matters.[80] Although this would allow for seven parliaments and governments, when the Communities and Regions were created in 1980, Flemish politicians decided to merge both.[81] Thus the Flemings just have one single institutional body of parliament and government is empowered for all except federal and specific municipal matters.[D] The overlapping boundaries of the Regions and Communities have created two notable peculiarities: the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region (which came into existence nearly a decade after the other regions) is included in both the Flemish and French Communities, and the territory of the German-speaking Community lies wholly within the Walloon Region. Conflicts about jurisdiction between the bodies are resolved by the Constitutional Court of Belgium. The structure is intended as a compromise to allow different cultures to live together peacefully.[15] Locus of policy jurisdiction The Federal State's authority includes justice, defence, federal police, social security, nuclear energy, monetary policy and public debt, and other aspects of public finances. State-owned companies include the Belgian Post Group and Belgian Railways. The Federal Government is responsible for the obligations of Belgium and its federalized institutions towards the European Union and NATO. It controls substantial parts of public health, home affairs and foreign affairs.[82] The budget—without the debt—controlled by the federal government amounts to about 50% of the national fiscal income. The federal government employs around 12% of the civil servants.[83] Communities exercise their authority only within linguistically determined geographical boundaries, originally oriented towards the individuals of a Community's language: culture (including audiovisual media), education and the use of the relevant language. Extensions to personal matters less directly connected with language comprise health policy (curative and preventive medicine) and assistance to individuals (protection of youth, social welfare, aid to families, immigrant assistance services, and so on.).[84] Regions have authority in fields that can be broadly associated with their territory. These include economy, employment, agriculture, water policy, housing, public works, energy, transport, the environment, town and country planning, nature conservation, credit and foreign trade. They supervise the provinces, municipalities and intercommunal utility companies.[85] In several fields, the different levels each have their own say on specifics. With education, for instance, the autonomy of the Communities neither includes decisions about the compulsory aspect nor allows for setting minimum requirements for awarding qualifications, which remain federal matters.[82] Each level of government can be involved in scientific research and international relations associated with its powers. The treaty-making power of the Regions' and Communities' Governments is the broadest of all the Federating units of all the Federations all over the world.[86][87][88] Foreign relations Main article: Foreign relations of Belgium Because of its location at the crossroads of Western Europe, Belgium has historically been the route of invading armies from its larger neighbours. With virtually defenceless borders, Belgium has traditionally sought to avoid domination by the more powerful nations which surround it through a policy of mediation. The Belgians have been strong advocates of European integration. Both the European Union and NATO are headquartered in Belgium. Armed forces Main article: Belgian Armed Forces The Belgian Armed Forces have about 47,000 active troops. In 2010, Belgium's defence budget totaled €3.95 billion (representing 1.12% of its GDP).[89] They are organized into one unified structure which consists of four main components: Land Component, or the Army; Air Component, or the Air Force; Naval Component, or the Navy; Medical Component. The operational commands of the four components are subordinate to the Staff Department for Operations and Training of the Ministry of Defence, which is headed by the Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training, and to the Chief of Defence.[90] The effects of the Second World War made collective security a priority for Belgian foreign policy. In March 1948 Belgium signed the Treaty of Brussels, and then joined NATO in 1948. However the integration of the armed forces into NATO did not begin until after the Korean War.[91] The Belgians, along with the Luxembourg government, sent a detachment of battalion strength to fight in Korea known as the Belgian United Nations Command. This mission was the first in a long line of UN missions which the Belgians supported. Currently, the Belgian Naval Component is working closely together with the Dutch Navy under the command of the Admiral Benelux.


Economy Main article: Economy of Belgium Belgium is part of a monetary union, the eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market Belgium's strongly globalized economy[92] and its transport infrastructure are integrated with the rest of Europe. Its location at the heart of a highly industrialized region helped make it the world's 15th largest trading nation in 2007.[93][94] The economy is characterized by a highly productive work force, high GNP and high exports per capita.[95] Belgium's main imports are raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, and oil products. Its main exports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, and foodstuffs.[39] The Belgian economy is heavily service-oriented and shows a dual nature: a dynamic Flemish economy and a Walloon economy that lags behind.[15][96][E] One of the founding members of the European Union, Belgium strongly supports an open economy and the extension of the powers of EU institutions to integrate member economies. Since 1922, through the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, Belgium and Luxembourg have been a single trade market with customs and currency union.[97] Steelmaking along the Meuse River at Ougrée, near Liège Belgium was the first continental European country to undergo the Industrial Revolution, in the early 19th century.[98] Liège and Charleroi rapidly developed mining and steelmaking, which flourished until the mid-20th century in the Sambre and Meuse valley and made Belgium among one of the three most industrialized nations in the world from 1830 to 1910.[99][100] However, by the 1840s the textile industry of Flanders was in severe crisis, and the region experienced famine from 1846 to 1850.[101][102] After World War II, Ghent and Antwerp experienced a rapid expansion of the chemical and petroleum industries. The 1973 and 1979 oil crises sent the economy into a recession; it was particularly prolonged in Wallonia, where the steel industry had become less competitive and experienced serious decline.[103] In the 1980s and 1990s, the economic centre of the country continued to shift northwards and is now concentrated in the populous Flemish Diamond area.[104] By the end of the 1980s, Belgian macroeconomic policies had resulted in a cumulative government debt of about 120% of GDP. As of 2006[update], the budget was balanced and public debt was equal to 90.30% of GDP.[105] In 2005 and 2006, real GDP growth rates of 1.5% and 3.0%, respectively, were slightly above the average for the Euro area. Unemployment rates of 8.4% in 2005 and 8.2% in 2006 were close to the area average. By October 2010, this had grown to 8.5% compared to an average rate of 9.6% for the European Union as a whole (EU 27).[106][107] From 1832 until 2002, Belgium's currency was the Belgian franc. Belgium switched to the euro in 2002, with the first sets of euro coins being minted in 1999. The standard Belgian euro coins designated for circulation show the portrait of the monarch (first King Albert II, since 2013 King Philippe). Despite an 18% decrease observed from 1970 to 1999, Belgium still had in 1999 the highest rail network density within the European Union with 113.8 km/1 000 km2. On the other hand, the same period of time, 1970–1999, has seen a huge growth (+56%) of the motorway network. In 1999, the density of km motorways per 1000 km2 and 1000 inhabitants amounted to 55.1 and 16.5 respectively and were significantly superior to the EU's means of 13.7 and 15.9.[108] Port of Zeebrugge Belgium experiences some of the most congested traffic in Europe. In 2010, commuters to the cities of Brussels and Antwerp spent respectively 65 and 64 hours a year in traffic jams.[109] Like in most small European countries, more than 80% of the airways traffic is handled by a single airport, the Brussels Airport. The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge (Bruges) share more than 80% of Belgian maritime traffic, Antwerp being the second European harbour with a gross weight of goods handled of 115 988 000 t in 2000 after a growth of 10.9% over the preceding five years.[108][110] In 2016, the port of Antwerp handled 214 million tons after a year-on-year growth of 2.7%.[111] There is a large economic gap between Flanders and Wallonia. Wallonia was historically wealthy compared to Flanders, mostly due to its heavy industries, but the decline of the steel industry post-World War II led to the region's rapid decline, whereas Flanders rose swiftly. Since then, Flanders has been prosperous, among the wealthiest regions in Europe, whereas Wallonia has been languishing. As of 2007, the unemployment rate of Wallonia is over double that of Flanders. The divide has played a key part in the tensions between the Flemish and Walloons in addition to the already-existing language divide. Pro-independence movements have gained high popularity in Flanders as a consequence. The separatist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) party for instance is the largest party in Belgium.[112][113][114] Science and technology Further information: Science and technology in Brussels, Science and technology in Flanders, and Science and technology in Wallonia Gerardus Mercator Contributions to the development of science and technology have appeared throughout the country's history. The 16th century Early Modern flourishing of Western Europe included cartographer Gerardus Mercator, anatomist Andreas Vesalius, herbalist Rembert Dodoens[115][116][117][118] and mathematician Simon Stevin among the most influential scientists.[119] Chemist Ernest Solvay[120] and engineer Zenobe Gramme (École Industrielle de Liège)[121] gave their names to the Solvay process and the Gramme dynamo, respectively, in the 1860s. Bakelite was developed in 1907–1909 by Leo Baekeland. Ernest Solvay also acted as a major philanthropist and gave its name to the Solvay Institute of Sociology, the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry which are now part of the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 1911, he started a series of conferences, the Solvay Conferences on Physics and Chemistry, which have had a deep impact on the evolution of quantum physics and chemistry.[122] A major contribution to fundamental science was also due to a Belgian, Monsignor Georges Lemaître (Catholic University of Leuven), who is credited with proposing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927.[123] Three Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine were awarded to Belgians: Jules Bordet (Université libre de Bruxelles) in 1919, Corneille Heymans (University of Ghent) in 1938 and Albert Claude (Université Libre de Bruxelles) together with Christian de Duve (Université Catholique de Louvain) in 1974. François Englert (Université Libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. Ilya Prigogine (Université Libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.[124] Two Belgian mathematicians have been awarded the Fields Medal: Pierre Deligne in 1978 and Jean Bourgain in 1994.[125][126]


Demographics Main article: Demographics of Belgium Brussels, the capital city and largest metropolitan area of Belgium As of 1 January 2015[update], the total population of Belgium according to its population register was 11,190,845.[3] Almost all of the population is urban, at 97% in 2004.[127] The population density of Belgium is 365 per square kilometre (952 per square mile) as of March 2013. The most densely inhabited area is Flanders.[128] The Ardennes have the lowest density. As of 1 January 2015[update], the Flemish Region had a population of 6,437,680, its most populous cities being Antwerp (511,771), Ghent (252,274) and Bruges (117,787). Wallonia had 3,585,214 with Charleroi (202,021), Liège (194,937) and Namur (110,447), its most populous cities. Brussels has 1,167,951 inhabitants in the Capital Region's 19 municipalities, three of which have over 100,000 residents.[3] Migration This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2017) As of 2007[update], nearly 92% of the population had Belgian citizenship,[129] and other European Union member citizens account for around 6%. The prevalent foreign nationals were Italian (171,918), French (125,061), Dutch (116,970), Moroccan (80,579), Portuguese (43,509), Spanish (42,765), Turkish (39,419) and German (37,621).[130][131] In 2007, there were 1.38 million foreign-born residents in Belgium, corresponding to 12.9% of the total population. Of these, 685,000 (6.4%) were born outside the EU and 695,000 (6.5%) were born in another EU Member State.[132][133] At the beginning of 2012, people of foreign background and their descendants were estimated to have formed around 25% of the total population i.e. 2.8 million new Belgians.[134] Of these new Belgians, 1,200,000 are of European ancestry and 1,350,000[135] are from non-Western countries (most of them from Morocco, Turkey, and the DR Congo). Since the modification of the Belgian nationality law in 1984 more than 1.3 million migrants have acquired Belgian citizenship. The largest group of immigrants and their descendants in Belgium are Moroccans.[136] 89.2% of inhabitants of Turkish origin have been naturalized, as have 88.4% of people of Moroccan background, 75.4% of Italians, 56.2% of the French and 47.8% of Dutch people.[135]   v t e Largest cities or towns in Belgium Numbers according to the NIS, table 3 (01/01/2014) Rank Name Region Pop. Rank Name Region Pop. Antwerp Ghent 1 Antwerp Flanders 510,610 11 Mons Wallonia 95,047 Charleroi Liège 2 Ghent Flanders 251,133 12 Sint-Jans-Molenbeek / Molenbeek-Saint-Jean Brussels 94,854 3 Charleroi Wallonia 202,730 13 Aalst Flanders 83,347 4 Liège Wallonia 196,291 14 Elsene / Ixelles Brussels 83,332 5 City of Brussels Brussels 170,407 15 Mechelen Flanders 83,194 6 Schaarbeek / Schaerbeek Brussels 131,604 16 Ukkel / Uccle Brussels 81,089 7 Bruges Flanders 117,377 17 La Louvière Wallonia 80,172 8 Anderlecht Brussels 115,178 18 Hasselt Flanders 75,991 9 Namur Wallonia 110,665 19 Kortrijk Flanders 75,128 10 Leuven Flanders 98,292 20 Sint-Niklaas Flanders 73,716 Bruges, historical city centre, UNESCO World Heritage Site Functional urban areas[137] Functional urban areas Population 2011 Brussels 2,608,000 Antwerp 1,091,000 Liège 744,000 Ghent 591,000 Charleroi 488,000 Languages Main article: Languages of Belgium Distribution of languages of Belgium Dutch   59% French   40% German   1% Bilingual signs in Brussels Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. A number of non-official minority languages are spoken as well.[138] As no census exists, there are no official statistical data regarding the distribution or usage of Belgium's three official languages or their dialects.[139] However, various criteria, including the language(s) of parents, of education, or the second-language status of foreign born, may provide suggested figures. An estimated 60% of the Belgian population speaks Dutch (often referred to as Flemish), and 40% of the population speaks French. French-speaking Belgians are often referred to as Walloons, although the French speakers in Brussels are not Walloons.[F] Total Dutch speakers are 6.23 million, concentrated in the northern Flanders region, while French speakers number 3.32 million in Wallonia and an estimated 870,000 (or 85%) in the officially bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.[G][140] The German-speaking Community is made up of 73,000 people in the east of the Walloon Region; around 10,000 German and 60,000 Belgian nationals are speakers of German. Roughly 23,000 more German speakers live in municipalities near the official Community.[12][141][142][143] Both Belgian Dutch and Belgian French have minor differences in vocabulary and semantic nuances from the varieties spoken respectively in the Netherlands and France. Many Flemish people still speak dialects of Dutch in their local environment. Walloon, considered either as a dialect of French or a distinct Romance language,[144][145] is now only understood and spoken occasionally, mostly by elderly people. Walloon is the name collectively given to four French dialects spoken in Belgium. Wallonia's dialects, along with those of Picard,[146] are not used in public life and have been replaced by French. Religion Main article: Religion in Belgium National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg, Brussels Since the country's independence, Roman Catholicism, counterbalanced by strong freethought movements, has had an important role in Belgium's politics.[147] However Belgium is largely a secular country as the laicist constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right in practice. During the reigns of Albert I and Baudouin, the monarchy had a reputation of deeply rooted Catholicism.[148] Roman Catholicism has traditionally been Belgium's majority religion; being especially strong in Flanders. However, by 2009 Sunday church attendance was 5% for Belgium in total; 3% in Brussels,[149] and 5.4% in Flanders. Church attendance in 2009 in Belgium was roughly half of the Sunday church attendance in 1998 (11% for the total of Belgium in 1998).[150] Despite the drop in church attendance, Catholic identity nevertheless remains an important part of Belgium's culture.[148] According to the Eurobarometer 2010,[151] 37% of Belgian citizens responded that they believe there is a God. 31% answered that they believe there is some sort of spirit or life-force. 27% answered that they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life-force. 5% did not respond. According to the Eurobarometer 2015, 60.7% of the total population of Belgium adhered to Christianity, with Roman Catholicism being the largest denomination with 52.9%. Protestants comprised 2.1% and Orthodox Christians were the 1.6% of the total. Non religious people comprised the 32.0% of the population and were divided between atheists (14.9%) and agnostics (17.1%). A further 5.2% of the population was Muslim and 2.1% were believers in other religions.[1] The same survey held in 2012 found that Christianity was the largest religion in Belgium accounting 65% of Belgians.[152] Symbolically and materially, the Roman Catholic Church remains in a favourable position.[148] Belgium officially recognises three religions: Christianity (Catholic, Protestantism, Orthodox churches and Anglicanism), Islam and Judaism.[153] Interior of the Great Synagogue of Brussels In the early 2000s there were approximately 42,000 Jews in Belgium. The Jewish Community of Antwerp (numbering some 18,000) is one of the largest in Europe, and one of the last places in the world where Yiddish is the primary language of a large Jewish community (mirroring certain Orthodox and Hasidic communities in New York, New Jersey, and Israel). In addition most Jewish children in Antwerp receive a Jewish education.[154] There are several Jewish newspapers and more than 45 active synagogues (30 of which are in Antwerp) in the country. A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, considered to be a more religious region than Wallonia, showed that 55% considered themselves religious and that 36% believed that God created the universe.[155] On the other hand, Wallonia has become one of Europe's most secular/least religious regions. Most of the French-speaking region's population does not consider religion an important part of their lives, and as much as 45% of the population identifies as irreligious. This is particularly the case in eastern Wallonia and areas along the French border. The Great Mosque of Brussels is the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium A 2008 estimate found that approximately 6% of the Belgian population (628,751 people) is Muslim.[156] Muslims constitute 23.6% of the population of Brussels, 4.9% of Wallonia and 5.1% of Flanders. The majority of Belgian Muslims live in the major cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels and Charleroi. The largest group of immigrants in Belgium are Moroccans, with 400,000 people. The Turks are the third largest group, and the second largest Muslim ethnic group, numbering 220,000.[136][157] Health Main article: Healthcare in Belgium University Hospital of Antwerp The Belgians enjoy good health. According to 2012 estimates, the average life expectancy is 79.65 years.[39] Since 1960, life expectancy has, in line with the European average, grown by two months per year. Death in Belgium is mainly due to heart and vascular disorders, neoplasms, disorders of the respiratory system and unnatural causes of death (accidents, suicide). Non-natural causes of death and cancer are the most common causes of death for females up to age 24 and males up to age 44.[158] Healthcare in Belgium is financed through both social security contributions and taxation. Health insurance is compulsory. Health care is delivered by a mixed public and private system of independent medical practitioners and public, university and semi-private hospitals. Health care service are payable by the patient and reimbursed later by health insurance institutions, but for ineligible categories (of patients and services) so-called 3rd party payment systems exist.[158] The Belgian health care system is supervised and financed by the federal government, the Flemish and Walloon Regional governments; and the German Community also has (indirect) oversight and responsibilities.[158] For the first time in Belgium history, the first child was euthanized following the 2 year mark of the removal of the euthanization age restrictions. The child had been euthanized due to an incurable disease that was inflicted upon the child. Although there may have been some support for the euthanization there is a possibility of controversy due to the issue revolving around the subject of assisted suicide.[159][160] Education Main article: Education in Belgium The Central Library of the KU Leuven University Education is compulsory from 6 to 18 years of age for Belgians.[161] Among OECD countries in 2002, Belgium had the third highest proportion of 18- to 21-year-olds enrolled in postsecondary education, at 42%.[162] Though an estimated 99% of the adult population is literate, concern is rising over functional illiteracy.[146][163] The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Belgium's education as the 19th best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average.[164] Education being organized separately by each, the Flemish Community scores noticeably above the French and German-speaking Communities.[165] Mirroring the dual structure of the 19th-century Belgian political landscape, characterized by the Liberal and the Catholic parties, the educational system is segregated within a secular and a religious segment. The secular branch of schooling is controlled by the communities, the provinces, or the municipalities, while religious, mainly Catholic branch education, is organized by religious authorities, although subsidized and supervised by the communities.[166]


Culture Main article: Culture of Belgium Despite its political and linguistic divisions, the region corresponding to today's Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had tremendous influence on European art and culture. Nowadays, to a certain extent, cultural life is concentrated within each language Community, and a variety of barriers have made a shared cultural sphere less pronounced.[15][167][168] Since the 1970s, there are no bilingual universities or colleges in the country except the Royal Military Academy and the Antwerp Maritime Academy, no common media[169] and no single large cultural or scientific organization in which both main communities are represented.[170] Fine arts See also: List of Belgian painters, Architecture of Belgium, and Music of Belgium The Ghent Altarpiece: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (interior view), painted 1432 by van Eyck Contributions to painting and architecture have been especially rich. The Mosan art, the Early Netherlandish,[171] the Flemish Renaissance and Baroque painting[172] and major examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture[173] are milestones in the history of art. While the 15th century's art in the Low Countries is dominated by the religious paintings of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, the 16th century is characterized by a broader panel of styles such as Peter Breughel's landscape paintings and Lambert Lombard's representation of the antique.[174] Though the Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck flourished in the early 17th century in the Southern Netherlands,[175] it gradually declined thereafter.[176][177] During the 19th and 20th centuries many original romantic, expressionist and surrealist Belgian painters emerged, including James Ensor and other artists belonging to the Les XX group, Constant Permeke, Paul Delvaux and René Magritte. The avant-garde CoBrA movement appeared in the 1950s, while the sculptor Panamarenko remains a remarkable figure in contemporary art.[178][179] Multidisciplinary artists Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye and the painters Guy Huygens and Luc Tuymans are other internationally renowned figures on the contemporary art scene. Belgian contributions to architecture also continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, including the work of Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde, who were major initiators of the Art Nouveau style.[180][181] Jacques Brel, 1963 The vocal music of the Franco-Flemish School developed in the southern part of the Low Countries and was an important contribution to Renaissance culture.[182] In the 19th and 20th centuries, there was an emergence of major violinists, such as Henri Vieuxtemps, Eugène Ysaÿe and Arthur Grumiaux, while Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1846. The composer César Franck was born in Liège in 1822. Contemporary popular music in Belgium is also of repute. Jazz musician Toots Thielemans and singer Jacques Brel have achieved global fame. Nowadays, singer Stromae has been a musical revelation in Europe and beyond, having great success. In rock/pop music, Telex, Front 242, K's Choice, Hooverphonic, Zap Mama, Soulwax and dEUS are well known. In the heavy metal scene, bands like Machiavel, Channel Zero and Enthroned have a worldwide fan-base.[183] Belgium has produced several well-known authors, including the poets Emile Verhaeren, Robert Goffin and novelists Hendrik Conscience, Georges Simenon, Suzanne Lilar, Hugo Claus, Joseph Weterings and Amélie Nothomb. The poet and playwright Maurice Maeterlinck won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1911. The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé is the best known of Franco-Belgian comics, but many other major authors, including Peyo (The Smurfs), André Franquin (Gaston Lagaffe), Dupa (Cubitus), Morris (Lucky Luke), Greg (Achille Talon), Lambil (Les Tuniques Bleues), Edgar P. Jacobs and Willy Vandersteen brought the Belgian cartoon strip industry a worldwide fame.[184] Belgian cinema has brought a number of mainly Flemish novels to life on-screen.[H] Other Belgian directors include André Delvaux, Stijn Coninx, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne; well-known actors include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jan Decleir and Marie Gillain; and successful films include Bullhead, Man Bites Dog and The Alzheimer Affair.[185] In the 1980s, Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts produced important fashion trendsetters, known as the Antwerp Six.[186] Folklore Further information: Folklore of Belgium The Gilles of Binche, in costume, wearing wax masks Folklore plays a major role in Belgium's cultural life: the country has a comparatively high number of processions, cavalcades, parades, 'ommegangs' and 'ducasses',[I] 'kermesse' and other local festivals, nearly always with an originally religious or mythological background. The Carnival of Binche with its famous Gilles and the 'Processional Giants and Dragons' of Ath, Brussels, Dendermonde, Mechelen and Mons are recognized by UNESCO as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[187] Other examples are the Carnival of Aalst; the still very religious processions of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Virga Jesse Basilica in Hasselt and Basilica of Our Lady of Hanswijk in Mechelen; 15 August festival in Liège; and the Walloon festival in Namur. Originated in 1832 and revived in the 1960s, the Gentse Feesten have become a modern tradition. A major non-official holiday is the Saint Nicholas Day, a festivity for children and, in Liège, for students.[188] Cuisine Main article: Belgian cuisine Moules-frites / mosselen met friet is the national dish of Belgium Many highly ranked Belgian restaurants can be found in the most influential restaurant guides, such as the Michelin Guide.[189] Belgium is famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries with mayonnaise. Contrary to their name, french fries are claimed to have originated in Belgium, although their exact place of origin is uncertain. The national dishes are "steak and fries with salad", and "mussels with fries".[190][191][192][J] Brands of Belgian chocolate and pralines, like Côte d'Or, Neuhaus, Leonidas and Godiva are famous, as well as independent producers such as Burie and Del Rey in Antwerp and Mary's in Brussels.[193] Belgium produces over 1100 varieties of beer.[194][195] The Trappist beer of the Abbey of Westvleteren has repeatedly been rated the world's best beer.[196][197][198] The biggest brewer in the world by volume is Anheuser-Busch InBev, based in Leuven.[199] Sports Eddy Merckx, regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time Main article: Sport in Belgium Since the 1970s, sports clubs and federations are organized separately within each language community.[200] Association football is the most popular sport in both parts of Belgium; also very popular are cycling, tennis, swimming, judo[201] and basketball.[202] Belgians hold the most Tour de France victories of any country except France. They have also the most victories on the UCI Road World Championships. Philippe Gilbert is the 2012 world champion. Another modern well-known Belgian cyclist is Tom Boonen. With five victories in the Tour de France and numerous other cycling records, Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx is regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.[203] Jean-Marie Pfaff, a former Belgian goalkeeper, is considered one of the greatest in the history of association football.[204] Belgium hosted the 1972 European Football Championships, and co-hosted the 2000 European Championships with the Netherlands. The Belgium national football team reached first place in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in November 2015.[205] Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin both were Player of the Year in the Women's Tennis Association as they were ranked the number one female tennis player. The Spa-Francorchamps motor-racing circuit hosts the Formula One World Championship Belgian Grand Prix. The Belgian driver, Jacky Ickx, won eight Grands Prix and six 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished twice as runner-up in the Formula One World Championship. Belgium also has a strong reputation in, motocross with the rider Stefan Everts.[206] Sporting events annually held in Belgium include the Memorial Van Damme athletics competition, the Belgian Grand Prix Formula One, and a number of classic cycle races such as the Tour of Flanders and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. The 1920 Summer Olympics were held in Antwerp. The 1977 European Basketball Championship was held in Liège and Ostend.


See also Belgium portal Brussels portal Book: Belgium Index of Belgium-related articles Outline of Belgium


Footnotes ^ Dutch: België [ˈbɛlɣijə] ( listen); French: Belgique [bɛlʒik] ( listen); German: Belgien [ˈbɛlɡi̯ən] ( listen) ^ Belgium is a member of, or affiliated to, many international organizations, including ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC (observers), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (non-regional), WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC. ^ The Celtic and/or Germanic influences on and origin(s) of the Belgae remains disputed. Further reading: Witt, Constanze Maria (May 1997). "Ethnic and Cultural Identity". Barbarians on the Greek Periphery?—Origins of Celtic Art. Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia. Retrieved 6 June 2007.  ^ The Constitution set out seven institutions each of which can have a parliament, government and administration. In fact there are only six such bodies because the Flemish Region merged into the Flemish Community. This single Flemish body thus exercises powers about Community matters in the bilingual area of Brussels-Capital and in the Dutch language area, while about Regional matters only in Flanders. ^ The richest (per capita income) of Belgium's three regions is the Flemish Region, followed by the Walloon Region and lastly the Brussels-Capital Region. The ten municipalities with the highest reported income are: Laethem-Saint-Martin, Keerbergen, Lasne, Oud-Heverlee, Hove, De Pinte, Meise, Knokke-Heist, Bierbeek."Où habitent les Belges les plus riches?". trends.be. 2010. Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.  ^ Native speakers of Dutch living in Wallonia and of French in Flanders are relatively small minorities that furthermore largely balance one another, hence attributing all inhabitants of each unilingual area to the area's language can cause only insignificant inaccuracies (99% can speak the language). Dutch: Flanders' 6.079 million inhabitants and about 15% of Brussels' 1.019 million are 6.23 million or 59.3% of the 10.511 million inhabitants of Belgium (2006); German: 70,400 in the German-speaking Community (which has language facilities for its less than 5% French-speakers) and an estimated 20,000–25,000 speakers of German in the Walloon Region outside the geographical boundaries of their official Community, or 0.9%; French: in the latter area as well as mainly in the rest of Wallonia (3.321 million) and 85% of the Brussels inhabitants (0.866 million) thus 4.187 million or 39.8%; together indeed 100%. ^ Flemish Academic Eric Corijn (initiator of Charta 91), at a colloquium regarding Brussels, on 2001-12-05, states that in Brussels 91% of the population speaks French at home, either alone or with another language, and about 20% speaks Dutch at home, either alone (9%) or with French (11%)—After ponderation, the repartition can be estimated at between 85 and 90% French-speaking, and the remaining are Dutch-speaking, corresponding to the estimations based on languages chosen in Brussels by citizens for their official documents (ID, driving licenses, weddings, birth, sex, and so on); all these statistics on language are also available at Belgian Department of Justice (for weddings, birth, sex), Department of Transport (for Driving licenses), Department of Interior (for IDs), because there are no means to know precisely the proportions since Belgium has abolished 'official' linguistic censuses, thus official documents on language choices can only be estimations. For a web source on this topic, see e.g. General online sources: Janssens, Rudi ^ Notable Belgian films based on works by Flemish authors include: De Witte (author Ernest Claes) movie by Jan Vanderheyden and Edith Kiel in 1934, remake as De Witte van Sichem directed by Robbe De Hert in 1980; De man die zijn haar kort liet knippen (Johan Daisne) André Delvaux 1965; Mira ('De teleurgang van de Waterhoek' by Stijn Streuvels) Fons Rademakers 1971; Malpertuis (aka The Legend of Doom House) (Jean Ray [pen name of Flemish author who mainly wrote in French, or as John Flanders in Dutch]) Harry Kümel 1971; De loteling (Hendrik Conscience) Roland Verhavert 1974; Dood van een non (Maria Rosseels) Paul Collet and Pierre Drouot 1975; Pallieter (Felix Timmermans) Roland Verhavert 1976; De komst van Joachim Stiller (Hubert Lampo) Harry Kümel 1976; De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (Hendrik Conscience) Hugo Claus (a famous author himself) 1985; Daens ('Pieter Daens' by Louis Paul Boon) Stijn Coninx 1992; see also Filmarchief les DVD!s de la cinémathèque (in Dutch). Retrieved on 7 June 2007. ^ The Dutch word 'ommegang' is here used in the sense of an entirely or mainly non-religious procession, or the non-religious part thereof—see also its article on the Dutch-language Wikipedia; the Processional Giants of Brussels, Dendermonde and Mechelen mentioned in this paragraph are part of each city's 'ommegang'. The French word 'ducasse' refers also to a procession; the mentioned Processional Giants of Ath and Mons are part of each city's 'ducasse'. ^ Contrarily to what the text suggests, the season starts as early as July and lasts through April.


References ^ a b Eurobarometer 437: Discrimination in the EU in 2015. European Commission. Retrieved 15 October 2017 – via GESIS.  ^ "Government type: Belgium". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 19 December 2011.  ^ a b c "Bevolkingscijfers per provincie en per gemeente op 1 januari 2018/Chiffres de la population par province et par commune, a la date du 1er Janvier 2018" (PDF). Statistics Belgium, Federal Public Service Economy. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.  ^ a b c d "Belgium". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 31 October 2016.  ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income (source: SILC)". Eurostat Data Explorer. Retrieved 13 August 2013.  ^ "Human Development Report 2015" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 14 December 2015.  ^ The Belgian Constitution (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: Belgian House of Representatives. May 2014. p. 63. Retrieved 10 September 2015.  ^ Haß, Torsten (17 February 2003). "Rezension zu (Review of) Cook, Bernard: Belgium. A History" (in German). FH-Zeitung (journal of the Fachhochschule). ISBN 0-8204-5824-4. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2007. die Bezeichnung Belgiens als "the cockpit of Europe" (James Howell, 1640), die damals noch auf eine kriegerische Hahnenkampf-Arena hindeutete —The book reviewer, Haß, attributes the expression in English to James Howell in 1640. Howell's original phrase "the cockpit of Christendom" became modified afterwards, as shown by: *Carmont, John. "The Hydra No.1 New Series (November 1917)—Arras And Captain Satan". War Poets Collection. Napier University's Business School. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2007. —and as such coined for Belgium: *Wood, James (1907). "Nuttall Encyclopaedia of General Knowledge—Cockpit of Europe". Retrieved 24 May 2007. Cockpit of Europe, Belgium, as the scene of so many battles between the Powers of Europe.  (See also The Nuttall Encyclopaedia) ^ Robert Pateman, Mark Elliott (2006). 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The capital of Belgium, Brussels, is an enclave within Flanders.  *McMillan, Eric (October 1999). "The FIT Invasions of Mons" (PDF). Capital translator, Newsletter of the NCATA, Vol. 21, No. 7, p. 1. National Capital Area Chapter of the American Translators Association (NCATA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2007. The country is divided into three autonomous regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, mostly French-speaking Brussels in the center as an enclave within Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia in the south, including the German-speaking Cantons de l'Est.  *Van de Walle, Steven. "Language Facilities in the Brussels Periphery". KULeuven—Leuvens Universitair Dienstencentrum voor Informatica en Telematica. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2007. 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Die Vertreter Spaniens beherrschten normalerweise das Französische, nicht aber das Niederländische; ein beachtlicher Teil der am Hofe tätigen Adligen stammte aus Wallonien, das sich ja eher auf die spanische Seite geschlagen hatte als Flandern und Brabant. In dieser Situation war es selbstverständlich, dass die flämischen Adligen, die im Laufe der Zeit immer mehr ebenfalls zu Hofbeamten wurden, sich des Französischen bedienen mussten, wenn sie als gleichwertig anerkannt werden wollten. [Transl.: The prestigious language in the Spanish Netherlands was clearly French. Spain's representatives usually mastered French but not Dutch; a notable part of the nobles at the court came from Wallonia, which had taken party for the Spanish side to a higher extent than Flanders and Brabant. It was therefore evident within this context that the Flemish nobility, of which a progressively larger number became servants of the court, had to use French, if it wanted to get acknowledged as well.]  ^ Witte, Els; Craeybeckx, Jan & Meynen, Alain (2009). Political History of Belgium: From 1830 Onwards. Brussels: Academic and Scientific Publishers. p. 56.  ^ a b Fitzmaurice (1996), p. 31. ^ a b "Belgium". European Election Database. Norwegian Social Science Data Services. 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.  ^ Willemyns, Roland (2002). "The Dutch-French Language Border in Belgium" (PDF). Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 23 (1&2): 36–49. doi:10.1080/01434630208666453. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.  ^ "The Belgian Constitution – Article 4" (PDF). Belgian House of Representatives. January 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. 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"Federalism in Russia, Canada and Belgium: experience of comparative research" (in French). Kazan Institute of Federalism. La Belgique constitue ainsi le seul exemple clair du transfert d'une partie de la compétence « affaires étrangères » à des entités fédérées. (Transl.: Belgium is thus the only clear example of a transfer of a part of the "Foreign Affairs" competences to federated units.)  ^ Lagasse, Charles-Etienne. Les nouvelles institutions de la Belgique et de l'Europe (in French). p. 603. [Le fédéralisme belge] repose sur une combinaison unique d'équipollence, d'exclusivité et de prolongement international des compétences. ([Belgian federalism] is based on a unique combination of equipollence, of exclusivity, and of international extension of competences.)  ^ Suinen, Philippe (October 2000). "Une Première mondiale". Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Dans l'organisation de ces autonomies, la Belgique a réalisé une « première » mondiale: afin d'éviter la remise en cause, par le biais de la dimension internationale, de compétences exclusives transférées aux entités fédérées, les communautés et régions se sont vu reconnaître une capacité et des pouvoirs internationaux. (In organizing its autonomies, Belgium realized a World's First: to avoid a relevant stalemate, international consequences caused transfers of exclusive competences to federal, community and regional entities that are recognised to have become internationally enabled and enpowered.)  ^ "Defence Data of Belgium in 2010". European Defence Agency. Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.  ^ "Defensie La Défense". Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. 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Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007. ... het Cruijdeboeck, dat in 1554 verscheen. Dit meesterwerk was na de bijbel in die tijd het meest vertaalde boek. Het werd gedurende meer dan een eeuw steeds weer heruitgegeven en gedurende meer dan twee eeuwen was het het meest gebruikte handboek over kruiden in West-Europa. Het is een werk van wereldfaam en grote wetenschappelijke waarde. De nieuwe gedachten die Dodoens erin neerlegde, werden de bouwstenen voor de botanici en medici van latere generaties. (... the Cruijdeboeck, published in 1554. This masterpiece was, after the Bible, the most translated book in that time. It continued to be republished for more than a century and for more than two centuries it was the mostly used referential about herbs. It is a work with world fame and great scientific value. The new thoughts written down by Dodoens, became the building bricks for botanists and physicians of later generations.)  ^ O'Connor, J. J.; Robertsonfirst2=E. F. (2004). "Simon Stevin". School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2007. Although he did not invent decimals (they had been used by the Arabs and the Chinese long before Stevin's time) he did introduce their use in mathematics in Europe.  ^ "Abstract (*)". S. Karger AG, Basel. Retrieved 11 May 2007. The importance of A. Vesalius' publication 'de humani corporis fabrica libri septem' cannot be overestimated.  (*) Free abstract for pay-per-view article byDe Broe, Marc E.; De Weerdt, Dirk L.; Ysebaert, Dirk K.; Vercauteren, Sven R.; De Greef, Kathleen E.; De Broe, Luc C. (1999). "The Low Countries – 16th/17th century" (PDF). American Journal of Nephrology. 19 (2): 282–9. doi:10.1159/000013462. PMID 10213829.  ^ Midbon, Mark (24 March 2000). "'A Day Without Yesterday': Georges Lemaitre & the Big Bang". 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Retrieved 9 December 2010.  ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Pierre Deligne", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews . (Retrieved 10 November 2011) ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Jean Bourgain", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews . (Retrieved 10 November 2011) ^ "Quelques résultats des précédents recensements—Indicateurs de logement (1991)" (in French). Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy—Directorate-general Statistics Belgium. 2006. Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007.  ^ "Belgium – Market essentials" (PDF). British chamber of commerce in Belgium. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.  ^ This number evolved to 89% in 2011. Belgian Federal Government. "Population par sexe et nationalité pour la Belgique et les régions, 2001 et 2011" (in French). Retrieved 31 August 2012.  ^ Perrin, Nicolas (April 2006). "European Migration Network—Annual Statistical Report on migration and asylum in Belgium (Reference year 2003)—section A. 1) b) Population by citizenship & c) Third country nationals, 1 January 2004" (PDF). Study Group of Applied Demographics (Gédap). Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Interior—Immigration Office. pp. 5–9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.  ^ De vreemde bevolking. ecodata.mineco.fgov.be ^ L'IMMIGRATION EN BELGIQUE. EFFECTIFS, MOUVEMENTS. ET MARCHE DU TRAVAIL. Rapport 2009. Direction générale Emploi et marché du travai ^ Belgian Federal Government. "Structure de la population selon le pays de naissance" (in French). 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The capital Brussels, 80–85 percent French-speaking, ... —Strictly, the capital is the municipality (City of) Brussels, though the Brussels-Capital Region might be intended because of its name and also its other municipalities housing institutions typical for a capital. ^ "Citizens from other countries in the German-speaking Community". The German-speaking Community. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.  ^ "German (Belgium)—Overview of the language". Mercator, Minority Language Media in the European Union, supported by the European Commission and the University of Wales. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2007.  ^ Leclerc, Jacques (19 April 2006). "Belgique • België • Belgien—La Communauté germanophone de Belgique". L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde (in French). Host: Trésor de la langue française au Québec (TLFQ), Université Laval, Quebec. Retrieved 7 May 2007.  ^ According to Le Petit Larousse, Walloon is a dialect of the langue d'oïl. According to the Meyers grosses Taschenlexikon ^ Feller Jules (1912). Notes de philologie wallonne. Liège: Vaillant Carmanne.  ^ a b Among Belgium native German speakers many are familiar with the local dialect varieties of their region, that include dialects that spill over into neighboring Luxembourg and Germany.Gordon, Raymond G. Jr., ed. (2005). Languages of Belgium. Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Fifteenth ed.). Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.: SIL International.  (Online version: Sixteenth edition) ^ See for example Belgium entry of the Catholic Encyclopedia ^ a b c Loopbuyck, P. & Torfs, R. (2009). The world and its people – Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. 4. Marshall Cavendish. p. 499. ISBN 0-7614-7890-6.  ^ "Churchgoers in Brussels threatened with extinction". Brusselnieuws.be (in Dutch). 30 November 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2011.  ^ Kerken lopen zeer geleidelijk helemaal leeg – Dutch news article describing church attendance in Flanders. Standaard.be (25 November 2010). Retrieved 26 September 2011. ^ Eurobarometer Biotechnology report 2010 Archived 30 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine. p.381. ^ "Discrimination in the EU in 2012" (PDF), Special Eurobarometer, 383, European Union: European Commission, p. 233, 2012, archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012, retrieved 14 August 2013  ^ "State and Church in BELGIUM". euresisnet.eu. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010.  ^ Ghiuzeli, Haim F. The Jewish Community of Antwerp, Belgium. Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People ^ Inquiry by 'Vepec', 'Vereniging voor Promotie en Communicatie' (Organization for Promotion and Communication), published in Knack magazine 22 November 2006 p. 14 [The Dutch language term 'gelovig' is in the text translated as 'religious'. More precisely it is a very common word for believing in particular in any kind of God in a monotheistic sense, or in some afterlife], or both. ^ "In België wonen 650.000 muslims". Indy Media. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2016.  ^ "Moslims in België per gewest, provincie en gemeente". Npdata.be. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.  ^ a b c Corens, Dirk (2007). "Belgium, health system review" (PDF). Health Systems in Transition. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. 9 (2).  ^ "Belgium euthanasia: First child dies - CNN.com". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017.  ^ Santa Clara University. "Assisted Suicide: A Right or a Wrong? - Resources - Bioethics - Focus Areas - Markkula Center for Applied Ethics - Santa Clara University". scu.edu. Retrieved 6 January 2017.  ^ Hofman, Roelande H.; Hofman, W. H. A.; Gray, J. M.; Daly, P. (2004). Institutional context of education systems in Europe: a cross-country comparison on quality and equity. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 97, 105. ISBN 1-4020-2744-3.  Extracts: p. 97, p. 105 ^ "Table 388. Percentage of population enrolled in secondary and postsecondary institutions, by age group and country – Chapter 6. International Comparisons of Education, data: 2002". Digest of Education Statistics—Tables and Figures. National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), US Department of Education. 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2007.  ^ "I. Monitoring Human Development: Enlarging peoples's choices ... —5. Human poverty in OECD, Eastern Europe and the CIS" (PDF). Human Development Indicators. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2000. pp. 172–173. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2007.  ^ "Range of rank on the PISA 2006 science scale" (PDF). OECD. Retrieved 27 February 2011.  ^ De Meyer, Inge; Pauly, Jan; Van de Poele, Luc (2005). "Learning for Tomorrow's Problems – First Results from PISA2003" (PDF). 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Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2007. Archived from the original on 15 April 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.  ^ "Low Countries, 1400–1600 AD". Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.  ^ Several examples of major architectural realizations in Belgium belong to UNESCO's World Heritage List:"Belgium". Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. UNESCO. Retrieved 15 May 2007.  ^ Hendrick, Jacques (1987). La peinture au pays de Liège (in French). Liège: Editions du Perron. p. 24. ISBN 2-87114-026-X.  ^ Guratzsch, Herwig (1979). Die große Zeit der niederländische Malerei (in German). Freiburg im Beisgau: Verlag Herder. p. 7.  ^ "Low Countries, 1600–1800 AD". Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.  ^ "Art History: Flemish School: (1600–1800)—Artists: (biography & artworks)". World Wide Arts Resources. 5 February 2006. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2007. —A general presentation of the Flemish artistic movement with a list of its artists, linking to their biographies and artworks ^ "Belgian Artists: (biographies & artworks)". World Wide Arts Resources. 5 February 2006. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2007. —List of Belgian painters, linking to their biographies and artworks ^ Baudson, Michel (1996). "Panamarenko". Flammarion (Paris), quoted at presentation of the XXIII Bienal Internacional de São Paulo. Archived from the original on 7 February 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.  ^ Brussels, capital of Art Nouveau (page 1),"ib. (page2)". Senses Art Nouveau Shop, Brussels. 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2007.  (for example) ^ "Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)". UNESCO's World Heritage List. UNESCO. Retrieved 16 May 2007. The appearance of Art Nouveau in the closing years of the 19th century marked a decisive stage in the evolution of architecture, making possible subsequent developments, and the Town Houses of Victor Horta in Brussels bear exceptional witness to its radical new approach.  ^ "Western music, the Franco-Flemish school". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2007. Most significant musically was the pervasive influence of musicians from the Low Countries, whose domination of the musical scene during the last half of the 15th century is reflected in the period designations the Netherlands school and the Franco-Flemish school.  ^ Two comprehensive discussions of rock and pop music in Belgium since the 1950s: "The Timeline—A brief history of Belgian Pop Music". The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives. Flanders Music Centre, Brussels. March 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.  "Belgian Culture—Rock". Vanberg & DeWulf Importing. 2006. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2007.  ^ Grove, Laurence (2010). Comics in French: the European bande dessinée in context. Berghahn Books. ISBN 1-84545-588-6.  ^ A review of the Belgian cinema till about 2000 can be found at"History of Cinema in Belgium". Film Birth. 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2011.  ^ "Fashion and the 'Antwerp Six'". Dorset, UK: Fashion Worlds. 2004. Retrieved 13 May 2007.  ^ "Processional Giants and Dragons in Belgium and France". UNESCO. Retrieved 15 May 2007.  ^ "Folklore estudiantin liégeois" (in French). University of Liège. Retrieved 17 June 2008.  ^ "The Michelin stars 2007 in Belgium". Resto.be TM Dreaminvest. 2007. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2007.  ^ "Steak-frites". Epicurious. Retrieved 12 August 2007.  Republished fromVan Waerebeek, Ruth; Robbins, Maria (October 1996). Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook. Workman Publishing. ISBN 1-56305-411-6.  ^ "Belgium". Global Gourmet. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.  Republished fromVan Waerebeek, Ruth; Robbins, Maria (October 1996). Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook. Workman Publishing. ISBN 1-56305-411-6.  ^ "Mussels". Visit Belgium. Official Site of the Belgian Tourist Office in the Americas. 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.  ^ Elliott, Mark & Cole, Geert (2000). Belgium and Luxembourg. Lonely Planet. p. 53. ISBN 1-86450-245-2.  ^ Snick, Chris (18 October 2011). "Nieuwe bierbijbel bundelt alle 1.132 Belgische bieren". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 5 June 2012.  ^ "Nieuwe bierbijbel met 1.132 Belgische bieren voorgesteld in Brugge". Krant van West-Vlaanderen (in Dutch). 18 October 2011.  ^ Ames, Paul (30 August 2009). "Buying the World's Best Beer". Global Post. Retrieved 19 November 2010.  ^ Guthrie, Tyler (11 August 2010). "Day trip to the best beer in the world". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 November 2010.  ^ "Monks run short of 'world's best' beer". ABC. Reuters. 12 August 2005. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2010.  ^ "InBev dividend 2006: 0.72 euro per share—infobox: About InBev" (Press release). InBev. 24 April 2007. Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2007. InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: INB) based in Leuven, Belgium. The company's origins date back to 1366, and today it is the leading global brewer by volume.  ^ Task, Marijke; Renson, Roland & van Reusel, Bart (1999). Klaus Heinemann, ed. Organised sport in transition: development, structures and trends of sports clubs in Belgium. Sport clubs in various European countries. Schattauer Verlag. pp. 183–229. ISBN 3-7945-2038-6.  ^ Wingfield, George (2008). Charles F. Gritzner, ed. Belgium. Infobase Publishing. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-7910-9670-3.  ^ Hendricks, Kelly (20 June 2014). "Belgium's 10 most popular sports". The Bulletin. Retrieved 26 October 2014.  ^ Majendie, Matt (18 April 2005). "Great, but there are greater". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 September 2007. [the Author's] top five [cyclists] of all time: 1 Eddy Merckx, 2 Bernard Hinault, 3 Lance Armstrong, 4 Miguel Indurain, 5 Jacques Anquetil  ^ "Goalkeeping Greats" Goalkeepersaredifferent.com. Retrieved on 29 June 2008. ^ "Belgium go top, Chile and Austria soar". FIFA. 5 November 2015. Archived from the original on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.  ^ Woods, Bob (2008). Motocross History: From Local Scrambling to World Championship MX to Freestyle. Crabtree Publishing Company. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7787-3987-6.  Online sources "Belgium". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Retrieved 7 June 2007.  "Boordtabel" (in Dutch). Centre for Information, Documentation and Research on Brussels (BRIO). 2007. Archived from the original on 29 May 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.  (mentioning other original sources) "Belgium". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  Retrieved on 7 June 2007. "The Constitution". Federal Parliament Belgium. 21 January 1997. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.  "Country Portal – Europe—Belgium". Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy—Directorate-general Statistics Belgium. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.  Fischer, Kathrin (21 July 1999). "Die Stellung und Rolle der deutschsprachigen Minderheit in Ostbelgien innerhalb des belgischen Nationalstaats". Kleiner Geländekurs in die EUREGIO Maas-Rhein (in German). Geographical Institute of the Georg-August University (Department Culture and Social Geography), Göttingen, Germany. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.  "History of Belgium". World History at KMLA. Korean Minjok Leadership Academy (KMLA). 30 May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.  Janssens, Rudi (1 June 2001). "Brusselse Thema's in Brussel—Taalverhoudingen, taalverschuivingen en taalindentiteit in een meertalige stad – summary The Use of Languages in Brussels pp. 227–250 in English" (PDF) (in Dutch). Vrije Universiteit Brussel Press, Brussels. pp. 227–250. ISBN 90-5487-293-4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 June 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.  Leclerc, Jacques (2006). "Belgique • België • Belgien". L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde (in French). Host: Trésor de la langue française au Québec (TLFQ), Université Laval, Quebec. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.  Mnookin, Robert; Verbeke, Alain (20 December 2006). "Bye bye Belgium?". International Herald Tribune, republished by Harvard Law School. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2007. —Reflections on nations and nation-state developments regarding Belgium Bibliography Arblaster, Paul (23 December 2005). A History of the Low Countries. Palgrave Essential Histories (Hardcover 312pp ed.). Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 1-4039-4827-5.  Blom, J. C. H.; Lamberts, Emiel, eds. (May 1999). History of the Low Countries. Translated by Kennedy, James C. (Hardcover 503pp ed.). Berghahn Books, Oxford/New York. ISBN 1-57181-084-6.  Cammaerts, Émile L. (1921) [1913]. A History of Belgium from the Roman Invasion to the Present Day (357pp ed.). D. Appleton and Co, New York. ASIN B00085PM0A. OCLC 1525559.  [Also editions [1913], London, OCLC 29072911; (1921) D. Unwin and Co., New York OCLC 9625246 also published (1921) as Belgium from the Roman invasion to the present day, The Story of the nations, 67, T. Fisher Unwin, London, OCLC 2986704] de Kavanagh Boulger; Demetrius C. (28 June 2001) [1902]. The History of Belgium: Part 1. Cæsar to Waterloo. Elibron Classics (Paperback 493pp ed.). Adamant Media (Delaware corporation), Boston, Massachusetts, United States. ISBN 1-4021-6714-8.  Facsimile reprint of a 1902 edition by the author, London Ib. (June 2001) [1909]. Ib. Part 2. 1815–1865. Waterloo to the Death of Leopold I. Ib. (Paperback 462pp ed.). Ib. ISBN 1-4021-6713-X.  Facsimile reprint of a 1909 edition by the author, London Fitzmaurice, John (1996). The Politics of Belgium: A Unique Federalism. Nations of the modern world (Paperback 284pp ed.). Boulder, Colorado, USA: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-2386-X. OCLC 30112536.  Kossmann-Putto, Johanna A.; Kossmann Ernst H. (January 1993) [1987]. Deleu Jozef H. M., ed. The Low Countries: History of the Northern and Southern Netherlands. Translated by Fenoulhet Jane. De Lage Landen: geschiedenis van de Noordelijke en Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Vlaams-Nederlandse Stichting Ons Erfdeel, Rekkem (3rd Rev. edition Paperback 64pp ed.). Flemish-Netherlands Foundation "Stichting Ons Erfdeel", Rekkem, Belgium. ISBN 90-70831-20-1.  (Several editions in English, incl. (1997) 7th ed.)


External links Find more aboutBelgiumat Wikipedia's sister projects Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity Government Official site of Belgian monarchy Official site of the Belgian federal government General "Belgium". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  Belgium at UCB Libraries GovPubs Belgium information from the United States Department of State Belgium at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Portals to the World from the United States Library of Congress Belgium profile from the BBC News FAO Country Profiles: Belgium Statistical Profile of Belgium at the Association of Religion Data Archives Wikimedia Atlas of Belgium Key Development Forecasts for Belgium from International Futures Official Site of the Belgian Tourist Office in the Americas and GlobeScope Links to related articles v t e Belgium articles History Gallia Belgica Prince-Bishopric of Liège Burgundian Netherlands Southern Netherlands Spanish Netherlands Austrian Netherlands Brabant Revolution United Kingdom of the Netherlands Long nineteenth century Belgian Revolution Crisis of 1870 Empire World War I invasion occupation World War II invasion occupation Royal Question Congo Crisis State reform Geography Climate Extreme points Lakes Mountains Rivers Subdivisions Politics Constitution Elections Executive Foreign relations Human rights LGBT Law enforcement Judiciary Military Monarchy Parliament Political parties Prime Minister Economy 2008–2009 financial crisis Banking Central bank Communications Energy Tourism Trade unions Transport Science and technology Society Demographics People list Religion Education Honours Crime Languages Media Healthcare Culture Architecture Art Cinema Comics Cuisine Flag Literature Music Public holidays Sport Television World Heritage Sites Outline Index Book Category Portal v t e Belgian Revolution and the Independence of Belgium (1830–39) Belgian Revolution Belgian Revolution Rattachism Orangism La muette de Portici (August 1830) La Brabançonne (August 1830) Provisional Government of Belgium (September 1830 - February 1831) National Congress of Belgium (November 1830) Constitution of Belgium (February 1831) First Belgian monarchs Érasme, Baron Surlet de Chokier (Regent; February 1831 - July 1831) Leopold I (King of the Belgians; July 1831 - December 1865) Important figures Charles Niellon Alexandre Dechet (Jenneval) Frédéric de Mérode Juan Van Halen (see also List of members of the National Congress) Provisional Government Alexandre Gendebien André Jolly Charles Rogier Louis de Potter Sylvain Van de Weyer Feuillien de Coppin Félix de Mérode Joseph Vanderlinden Emmanuel Van der Linden d'Hooghvorst de Gerlache Government Étienne Constantin de Gerlache Charles de Brouckère Alexandre Gendebien Albert Goblet d'Alviella Sylvain Van de Weyer Lebeau I Government Joseph Lebeau Étienne de Sauvage Charles de Brouckère Paul Devaux United Kingdom of the Netherlands King William I Prince William Ten Days' Campaign (August 1831) Siege of Antwerp (1832) Treaties London Conference of 1830 Treaty of the Eighteen Articles (1831) Treaty of London (1839) Treaty of Maastricht (1843) Iron Rhine Treaty (1873) Monuments and honours Martyrs' Square Congress Column Civic Guard Merit Medal 1830 Star of Honour Iron Cross 1830 Volunteers' Commemorative Cross v t e Sovereign states and dependencies of Europe Sovereign states Albania Andorra Armenia2 Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus2 Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland1 Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom Vatican City States with limited recognition Abkhazia2 Artsakh2 Kosovo Northern Cyprus2 South Ossetia2 Transnistria Dependencies Denmark Faroe Islands1 autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark United Kingdom Akrotiri and Dhekelia2 Sovereign Base Areas Gibraltar British Overseas Territory Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Crown dependencies Special areas of internal sovereignty Finland Åland Islands autonomous region subject to the Åland Convention of 1921 Norway Svalbard unincorporated area subject to the Svalbard Treaty United Kingdom Northern Ireland country of the United Kingdom subject to the British-Irish Agreement 1 Oceanic islands within the vicinity of Europe are usually grouped with the continent even though they are not situated on its continental shelf. 2 Some countries completely outside the conventional geographical boundaries of Europe are commonly associated with the continent due to ethnological links. 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